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Old 06-23-2013, 06:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Fkrel View Post
Something else to consider is the heat from the engine blowing back from a front engine and the extra exhaust piping needed. My first motorhome was a gasser front engine and the floor and the dog house was always very warm almost hot to my feet while driving especially when climbing hills and mountians. Just something that bugged me.
Good point. It was true for my 84 and 96 gassers, but the doghouse insulation improvements and cooling air flow up front of today (gassers and Freds) is outstanding! Also, diesel exhaust heat is much cooler than gas.

Not an issue for the OP.

Dave
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:14 PM   #16
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It could be a Class super C built on a class 8 truck platform which also has airbags etc. That would be much easier to work on!
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:13 AM   #17
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I will disagree...a bit.
My Serrano has 11.2 hp per 1000 lbs of coach (20K GVW and 230 hp) and 620 fp torque. It would be equivalent to a 40K GVW coach with 460 and 1240 (respectively).

I bought it new and we have been F/T in it for 14 months, and gloriously so. It is less than 1/3 the noise of my 2 gasers, and normal speach is all that we need at cruise speed.

I started out at 9.5 mpg toading my Wrangler, and crested 6% grades at 37 mph.

It is now 11.5 avg with 12.3 in the flats and 47 mph on same grades.

Hey, it is gaining power and torque as it gets broken-in, and has a ways to yet improve as it only has 20K on it.

It does not have air ride but is acceptable and much improved from my previous gassers. To get air ride and DP in the same layout was a mere $70K more.

Some chassis have control/sway issues, both front and rear engine. This rig is a joyful 2-fingered driver. Nope, no mods or fixes required. Just front end alignment with a working load.

There are more DPs simply because few Freds were made. The Serrano line faded due to WH not building any more W-20/22D chassis.

To the OP: it took my 3 years to find the rig that fit my lifestyle and would fit my cargo and still be under GVW.
There is one out there for you!

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I read your submission with interest. My wife and I looked at a new serrano about the same year you were talking about. We literally drove it out on the highway for about 1 mile got to a turnaround point drove back to the dealership and parked it. The engine noise in the one we drove was very prohibitive. At an idle it was hard to talk when I gave it throttle to take off you could not hear anything except the engine noise. We might have been able to shout over it but that would have been all. I never got it on interstate to see what it was like at those speeds but the little bit I drove it I did not think it would fit my needs.


On my diesel pusher the freightliner mechanic I went to for an oil leak had a sign that said trucks 100.00 an hour motorhomes 125,00 an hour they are quite a bit harder to get to than trucks.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:54 AM   #18
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I would never consider anything except a diesel pusher in a Class A. I LOVE the quiet ride! We can talk quietly or listen to the stereo without that loud engine noise. JMHO
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:13 PM   #19
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What "radiator/CAC problem"?
The rad and cac in a rear engine diesel is often plugged with grim because of the 'slobber tube' in most older diesels. This blows out misted oil and gases normally which can accumulate on the rad and cac causing an overheating condition when trying to climb hills, as road dirt plugs the rads.

A good spraying with Purple stuff and a pressure wash once a year usually fixes it. Depends on your driving habits and if you don't put too much oil in the crankcase. I put in one less quart then the book calls for and haven't had to clean my rads for over 30K miles.

Side rads also need to be cleaned periodically, but they're easier to get to.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:57 PM   #20
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I will disagree...a bit.
My Serrano has 11.2 hp per 1000 lbs of coach (20K GVW and 230 hp) and 620 fp torque. It would be equivalent to a 40K GVW coach with 460 and 1240 (respectively).

I bought it new and we have been F/T in it for 14 months, and gloriously so. It is less than 1/3 the noise of my 2 gasers, and normal speach is all that we need at cruise speed.

I started out at 9.5 mpg toading my Wrangler, and crested 6% grades at 37 mph.

It is now 11.5 avg with 12.3 in the flats and 47 mph on same grades.

Hey, it is gaining power and torque as it gets broken-in, and has a ways to yet improve as it only has 20K on it.

It does not have air ride but is acceptable and much improved from my previous gassers. To get air ride and DP in the same layout was a mere $70K more.

Some chassis have control/sway issues, both front and rear engine. This rig is a joyful 2-fingered driver. Nope, no mods or fixes required. Just front end alignment with a working load.

There are more DPs simply because few Freds were made. The Serrano line faded due to WH not building any more W-20/22D chassis.

To the OP: it took my 3 years to find the rig that fit my lifestyle and would fit my cargo and still be under GVW.
There is one out there for you!

Dave
Dave,
I disagree on your linear HP/Weight assertions. One of the absolute largest considerations for a class A is the coefficient of drag, which for a FRED or DP is essentially the same. At speeds of 60-70 the HP required to overcome the drag is significant, even at only 20,000lbs. A 40Klb coach with 460/1240 would likely feel much more powerful.

In that scenario however, one advantage the FRED has is that is doesn't need to dedicate engine HP to turn a radiator fan like a side mount has to (can be 30-50HP alone!!)

Chris
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:12 PM   #21
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And as the Ford F-150 commercial airing now points out - "it's torque that opens your beer."
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:43 PM   #22
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It's nice to have the engine, it's noise, it's heat and it's vibrations in the rear when I'm driving. When I dry camp it nice not having the genny under my bed keeping me awake. The air ride and brakes it well worth what it costs. Amen.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:28 PM   #23
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Dave,
I disagree on your linear HP/Weight assertions. One of the absolute largest considerations for a class A is the coefficient of drag, which for a FRED or DP is essentially the same. At speeds of 60-70 the HP required to overcome the drag is significant, even at only 20,000lbs. A 40Klb coach with 460/1240 would likely feel much more powerful.

In that scenario however, one advantage the FRED has is that is doesn't need to dedicate engine HP to turn a radiator fan like a side mount has to (can be 30-50HP alone!!)

Chris
Well, the Serrano is only 10.5 feet high at the A/C and has a sloped nose. So, not the same. Being well under GVW also helps.

I cruise at 62, at peak torque of 1400. MPG worst/best is 10.5/12.3.

The genny is mid-ship. But we are spoiled and dont Wal-dock anyway. And the engine noise is truly less than 1/3 of a gasser. I am hearing impaired and can hear just fine!

Cannot answer for the Serrano tester that had a lot of noise. But it was also a $70K difference for me to go DP. I am the perverbial happy camper.

Dont discount the value of a diesel puller, thats all I mean to convey.
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:25 PM   #24
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Resale on the FRED is poor........there are many brand new carry over unsellable models on dealer lots.......some are two years old.

FREDs for all practical purposes are discontinued.

FREDs are noisey

There are good reasons there are many low mile FREDs on the used RV lots......they are unsellable too
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:31 PM   #25
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Show key, now don't be bashful. Tell us what you really think! :-)
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:25 AM   #26
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Show key, now don't be bashful. Tell us what you really think! :-)

Just fair warning........was considering a FRED ("upgrade" in size) drove 3..... heard the noise, then looked around more.......new and used are everywhere unsold.

Drove this one over a year ago:

Used 2009 Damon Avanti Class A Diesel Motorhomes For Sale In Akron, OH - SRV100056 - Camping World

still on the lot...............
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:42 AM   #27
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Who made the chassis? Many FRED (FRont Engine Diesel) are built on a truck chassis and suspension. Usually a DP is built on a custom frame with air suspension. Engine in the back is much quieter to those up front. Not sure about the easier access, I lift my bed and the whole engine is accessible. Often in the front you have a dog house and a hood, with the windshield and dashboard going across the engine. No long drive shaft in the pusher, Rear radiator requires attention to clean dust and dirt from occasionally.

Drive both of them on the highway and on streets, decide if the noise and suspension is better in one or the other.

Oh, and don't believe the salesman about anything.
As you say good Sir, not to cause a fight, but I do own a pusher - disclaimer upfront.

Pusher:

As stated, engine in the back so quieter when driving.

More important to me: That puts the genny in the front so it is much quieter at night if the genny has to run for AC.

More weight on the rear wheels although the way the DW thinks that may not mean much.

Cons: For me

Engine cooling system can make the engine harder to work on. The key here seems to be if you get a side or rear mounted radiator. I am becoming an expert on side mounted systems which are more complex and if they break like mine did...well the cost to repair can be high.

Read mounted radiator makes it harder to get to the engine in many ways, but is much simpler if something goes wrong.

I would let the floor plan and features be a bigger consideration that where the engine is, but HEY... it's YOUR coach so please yourself (and the DW if appropriate).

Kindest Regards;
Leo
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:21 AM   #28
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thrushl, no fight here. It's opinion, and like belly buttons, everyone's got one. Besides the pros and cons we have both listed, I think one of the more significant facts were shared by Showkey. Pullers don't sell. And as others have pointed out, FRED aren't being made much anymore. I think for future resale those two factors should weigh pretty heavily.
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